Fire service traditions often connect past generations with future members. The ESS has similar traditions as we pass along the much-loved fire scene jerky recipe from the original ESS member to future generations of ESS volunteers.

Our Johnson County first responders love this traditional beef eye-round jerky. The recipe is based on the recipe by late ESS member Howard Kessler. Kessler wrote his recipe down for us and we are happy to pass it along to you. Maybe it’s just us or maybe it just seems to taste so much better on the fire scene.

Short stacks of half-frozen eye round beef stack up in a container as the deli machine rhythmically whirs.  The marinade on the stove bubbles softly.  Soon the brine will soak into the steak over three days time.  After this, it’s time to transfer the soppy goodness to the dehydrator.  There it will spend hours drying, curing, and cooking into what Johnson County first responders love.      

Our ESS volunteers present and past continue to give. We lovingly make this jerky for several reasons.  To remember and pay tribute to the recipe originator and former ESS member, Howard Kessler.  This jerky also keeps our responders going. The third reason we keep making it is that it keeps our organizational traditions alive.  Our ESS Fire Scene Jerky goes to show that some fire traditions enrich the lives of those they touch even after they are gone.